1. VisualizationDraw, sketch or scan your idea onto paperand place it where you will see it when you wakeup and when you go to sleep.Visualize your product at its final resting place – ona store shelf – or in the hands of your consumerVisualization is the key to a product’s success
2. Create a “one sentence “ describing your product• If you cannot describe your product in one sentence – it is too difficult to sell• Your product only has 4 ½ seconds – once it is on a store shelf - to capture a shoppers interest
3. Create a product development working area• Computer• Scanner/printer• Software programs: Photoshop, Powerpoint• Digital Camera• Web access
4. Create a Product Profile• What does your product do?• Why would someone purchase it?• Is it unique?• What is it’s function?• What makes it different?
5. Expand your product idea into a Product Line• 3 different colors?• 3 different sizes?• 3 different shapes?• A product’s life is limited• A product line adds credibility and value• A brand’s life is limitless
6. Visit a Store that carries similar items• Check out similar products -colors, sizes, prices and positioning in the store• What category is your type of product located?• How much shelf space is dedicated to your type of item?
7. Create an image of your Product using Photoshop• Start documenting your idea on Paper• These first images are for your eyes only• As your images improve you will be using these in your first focus groups
8. Create your BRAND name• Your Brand is your most valuable asset• Make a list of all the product categories that could be created under your Brand umbrella• Create a Brand statement that best describes your Brand Personality• Your domain name should match your Brand name• Check that your Brand name is available• Develop your Brand Image and Logo
9. Create your Packaging• Your packaging is the billboard for your brand• Check out your options• Purchase packaging that best resembles what you desire for your packaging.• Get initial cost quotes based on sample packaging
10. Protect yourself• Download all the necessary legal documents:• Confidentiality Agreement• Non Disclosure Agreement• Independent Rep Agreement• Talent Release Form• Independent Contractor Agreement• Research a good Patent/copyright attorney
11. Research your Product Category e.g. Cosmetics• Web search Category information• Is this category experiencing growth- Why?• Is this category on a decline- Why?• Who are the major players in this category• What volume does this category do
12. Research your Product’s Industry e.g. Health & Beauty Aids• Web research your product’s Industry• Is the industry experiencing growth – Why?• Is the Industry experiencing decline – Why?• Who are the major players in the Industry• What is the volume of this Industry
13. Who is your Target Consumer? Are you sure?• If your consumer is infants/toddlers – you are targeting Parents, Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles• If your consumer is pre-teen – you are targeting pre-teens and Parents – with an emphasis on the pre-teen• If your consumer is teen – you are targeting teens – no teen will buy what their parent buys• Is your target consumer, gay, male, female, married, single, - are you sure?
14. How big is your Consumer Market?• The size of your consumer market will indicate the volume of sales you can generate• Researching your category & industry is a good starting point.• Focus group information will provide what percentage of your consumer market is likely to purchase your product
15. FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS• Run focus groups as often as you can• Focus groups can be as small as 8-12 participants• Have every participant sign a Talent Release Form• Check out my “How to Run A Focus Group” Blog
16. Document all your research• Keep all your research in 3 ring binders i.e.• Focus group information• Category information• Industry Information• Trade Shows• Consumer Shows• Marketing & Sales
17. Research your potential CUSTOMERS (buyers)• Web search your buyers, locations, head offices, sales, number of stores etc.• Discount Stores,• Drug Stores,• Deep Discount Stores• Food Stores• Specialty Stores• Online Retailers etc.
18. Research possible Licensors• Licensing your product IDEA eliminates manufacturing, marketing and sales costs• However, your idea needs to be DEVELOPED to a viable saleable product before you can consider licensing your product• Research standard industry royalties etc
19. Research Manufacturers• Domestic Manufacturing offers faster lead times, better freight costs and more control domestically – Check out Custom Manufacturers that specialize in your type of product.• Overseas Manufacturing can be more cost effective but has longer lead times (90 days)
20. Research Shipping, Warehousing and Distribution options• Web search your options for national warehousing and distribution services• Research their capabilities with EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) systems required by most retailers• Check out your domestic freight costs
21. Trade Shows• Web Research your Industry Trade Shows• Web Research your Industry Consumer Shows• Research your trade booth design/hire options
22. Create Sample Products• Your first sample products will be used for :• Costing purposes• Focus Group input• Sales materials
23. Hire your Independent Sales Reps• Web research your manufacture’s Assoc for reps who specialize in your type of products and industry• Have every rep sign an Independent Rep Contract• Ensure that your reps are located in the same States as your retailer’s corporate offices and have a solid relationship with your buyer
24. Your Customer’s needs• The Retail Market has a variety of marketing and operating expenses that will effect your pricing i.e.• Co-op Advertising allowances• New Store Allowances• Roto Advertising/ Coupons opportunities• POP (point of purchase) displays• Check with your rep what your retailer’s needs are
25. Research Costs• What are your product costs?Always work out your product costs from the retail price down - You want your product to have a “higher perceived value” than your competition.i.e. If your product retails for $10.00 and the buyer takes a 50% margin then your would sell your product for $5.00Once you have deducted your marketing, packaging, warehousing, freight & other operating costs you can determine your desired manufacturing cost
26. Create your Price SheetsYou will need three separate price sheets•Retailers•Distributors•International
27. Develop your Marketing Program• Consumer and Trade Advertising• Social Media – Website, Facebook, Twitter etc• PR
28. Set up your Company Structure• Always have good financial advisors• Always have good legal advisors• No-one can sell your product better than you
29. Financing your Venture• Money equals ownership• Only raise capital as you need it.• Capital infusion is needed in 4 stages:• 1. Start- up - Self Finance – you have nothing to sell yet• 2. The Road Show – Minimal Capital needed for initial product samples and sales calls - Gaining product acceptance• 3. Initial Manufacturing and Company Funding –• 4. Company Growth – Brand expansion, Product Expansion
30. Licensing Opportunites• If you feel that your product idea would benefit from a licensed brand name i.e. Disney for a child’s toy – then this may be an option. You would be the licensee and would be required to pay the licensor a royalty fee.• Once your Brand is fully developed in the marketplace (after 3 years) you may choose to license your brand to another company (who would sell complimentary products under your Brand) and, as the Licensor, you would receive royalties.
Author of“The Caboodles Blueprint” A Step by Step GUIDE –How to get your idea onto 30,000 retail shelves www.leoniemateer.com